4 Surprising Reasons You Should Print Through Your Photographer (And When You Shouldn’t) 

December 28, 2023

Ever wondered why printing through your photographer is so much more expensive than printing at Walgreens or Target? 

You’re certainly not the only one!

So why does quality printing come with such a price tag? Especially when digital alternatives are a lot cheaper?

Think about it like indulging in a gourmet meal versus a fast-food snack, there’s a world of difference in what you’re getting. 

It’s not just about putting ink on paper. It’s about the entire experience, the quality, and the lasting impact.

Let’s dive into why investing in professional printing is a decision you won’t regret.

A professional lab has experience and expertise 

Choosing between printing through your photographer and a budget-friendly service? It’s crucial to understand that lower costs often mean less experience.
Professional labs bring years of expertise. This isn’t just about running machines. It’s about understanding paper quality, ink longevity, color accuracy, and finishing touches that elevate your project.
Most photographers order samples from multiple labs to choose the best quality and price for their clients.

Ordering through a professional photographer means a unique set of experience and expertise too!

When you print with a professional lab through your photographer, you’re getting a lot more than just ink on paper. 
Your photographer understands details about the crop, color profile and sizing limitations that you might not know printing on your own.
When you try to figure this out on your own, this could lead to bad print quality or simply just not getting what you were imagining when you ordered the print. 

You get customization & personalization

Unlike generic print jobs, professional printing offers customization. 

This means tailoring every aspect of the printing process to your needs, from paper choice to unique finishes.

Imagine you’re making a special card or a poster. With professional printing, you get to pick everything – like what kind of paper to use (maybe shiny or really thick), and even special touches like gold edges or bumpy textures.

It’s like when you make a sandwich. You choose your favorite bread, maybe some cheese, and your best toppings. Professional printing is kind of like that. Instead of just any old sandwich, you get to make it exactly how you like it.

And guess what? 

This makes whatever you’re printing super special. It’s not just another paper thing someone printed a thousand times. It’s your own, one-of-a-kind creation.

Quality Materials and Longevity

When you’re printing something special, like photos from your newborn session or your child’s birth, you don’t want to use just any old paper or ink.

Instead look for a photographer and a lab who uses strong paper (that doesn’t get old and yellow) and ink that doesn’t fade away.

The goal is for your photos to look just as good years from now as they do today!

Here is why you shouldn’t use Walgreens or Target:

These stores don’t frequently adjust their printers. Since printing isn’t their main service, the colors in your photos can end up looking off – maybe too green, too pink, or overly bright. As photographers, we put a lot of effort into editing your photos to get the colors just right. But when you print them at Walgreens or Target, the final print might not truly show the beautiful photo we crafted for you!

When should you skip printing through your photographer and print on your own?
Honestly there are times when I encourage my clients to purchase the digital files and skip the printing through my lab.

If you’re planning to give the prints to multiple family members as gifts, strictly use the photo to post online and/or plans to cut them up for scrapbooking – I recommend printing through another lab on your own (though I never recommend printing through Walgreens or Target). 


Of course there are situations where you just need a quick print and the quality matters less, but when it comes to ordering an heirloom piece for your home, these details matter a lot!

Just like a fine wine, the quality of professional printing becomes more apparent over time. When you hold a beautifully printed piece years later, you’ll understand the true value of your investment.

Ready to book a session so you can get your images professionally printed? Click here to view my newborn portfolio or inquire about booking here!